Data from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture shows that China imported 8.42 billion USD worth of fruit last year. That is a growth of 34.5% in comparison with 2017. The cherry is a leading example of import fruit, and has become a common sight in many kitchens in China. The flourishing trade in imported cherries is a result of various factors such as sufficient supply, online trade and marketing, and changing consumer patterns.
The vast majority of imported cherries comes from Chile. Their cherries are relatively big and the price is high, but the supply volume increased in recent years, so that the price is becoming more reasonable. Another influence on import prices is the import tariff. China and Chile reached a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in 2017 that includes a zero tariff rate for about 97% of all trade between the two countries. This applies to Chilean cherries as well.
Another import success is the mangosteen from Thailand. The price of mangosteen is coming down because farmers in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia increase the surface area devoted to mangosteen plantation, and the additional supply forces the price down.
E-commerce platforms are an integral part of the growing presence of fresh fruit in daily life. Online traders purchase cherries directly from production areas in Chile, Australia, and New Zealand, which helps to keep the price low as fewer intermediaries means fewer fees. The growing demand from markets in second- and third-tier cities constantly changes distribution infrastructure in China.